This section provides an overview for fpga boards as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 9 fpga board manufacturers and their company rankings.
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An FPGA board (FPGA evaluation board or FPGA development board) is a board with an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) and peripheral components that is used in the initial stage of FPGA development or for learning FPGA development.
FPGAs are usually mounted on dedicated boards according to product specifications, but since these dedicated boards take time to develop, FPGA boards are generally used to evaluate FPGAs in the early stages of product development. For this reason, FPGA boards usually come pre-installed with various interfaces necessary for FPGA development.
FPGA boards are used to evaluate and validate product development without delay, both in terms of the IC circuitry (hardware) related to the FPGA and the preparation of software to run the FPGA.
This is because in the normal product development stage involving FPGA development, the verification of the internal circuitry and operating software of the IC is still in progress, and the evaluation board with dedicated peripheral circuit components is still incomplete, often all in the process of development .
It is possible to proceed with the development of hardware and software for all components as a series work, but this would require a very long product development schedule. Even if there are some redundant (extra) functions, FPGA boards are very useful item for designers because it allows them to verify the operation during the IC development process.
To operate an FPGA in principle, the following components are required: an IC, which is the main body of the FPGA; a board that connects the IC to various power supplies and bias wiring (such as clock signals for digital circuits); embedded software on a PC for sending various digital control signals.
By using an FPGA boards that packages and integrates these components, the electrical circuit system operation of FPGAs can be evaluated and verified in principle.
Various libraries of FPGA boards functions, including a wide variety of interfaces, are available from various manufacturers, but the more sophisticated models are very expensive.
As mentioned above, FPGA boards are often used for preliminary evaluation and development of FPGA-based products, but they can also be used for the following other purposes:
FPGA boards are available from a wide range of manufacturers, from multifunctional, high-performance specialized boards to easy-to-use boards for introductory use, and it is recommended that you select the FPGA boards that best suits the purpose you want to achieve.
This is because the pace of technological innovation in the digital industry is rapid, and even if you acquire an expensive FPGA boards for future use, you may need to purchase a new board when other functions are required due to technological innovation.
FPGAs have a built-in wiring system called Gate Array that allows designers to programmably realize a wide variety of functions later.
Although the performance index of the IC itself, such as response speed and power consumption, is inferior to that of a specially designed and optimized ASIC, it has the advantage that desired functions can be realized immediately without spending mask development costs (for IC circuit layout design).
With today's fine CMOS, IC mask development costs and development time tend to be enormous, and it is often difficult to develop a dedicated ASIC without accompanying volume and price. It can be said that the FPGA board, which doubles as an easy way to verify the operation of the application software in the digital part, can be a useful tool for designers and developers in such cases.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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